Connor Homes of Middlebury, Vermont is pleased to announce that it has recently been granted the exclusive license to produce a line of homes to be endorsed by Winterthur, the museum, garden, and library that is the former home of Henry Francis du Pont. The design inspiration for this new line of historically authentic, architecturally detailed homes comes from the museum's extensive archives as well as interpretations and adaptations of existing architecture presently found on the Winterthur estate.
Located just north of Wilmington, Delaware, Winterthur is situated on 1,000 acres and is the repository of one of the most extensive and important collections of early American decorative arts in the country. There are 175 rooms in the house, containing approximately 85,000 objects. Tours and special exhibitions highlight aspects of the collection, which includes furniture, ceramics, metals, and textiles as well as fine art. The estate is also world renowned for its extensive naturalistic garden, a legacy of H. F. du Pont's horticultural knowledge and design skill.
Connor Homes has earned a national reputation for the design and manufacture of historic American architecture through a process it calls "Mill-Built Architecture." Michael Connor, company founder and CEO said the company is thrilled and honored by this one-of-a-kind opportunity to participate in the endeavor with Winterthur. He notes that it is a tribute to the years of research and development by the Connor Homes team that has earned it the reputation for an expertise uniquely suited for such an undertaking. "Our job will be to create floor plans and living environments that transcend the needs and requirements that motivated the original floor layouts, so that we can create new layouts suited to the present era, while preserving the architectural integrity and charm of a former time. Our company has demonstrated through its existing portfolio of home designs that it has the appropriate sensitivity to historic architecture that enables us to harmoniously meld the revered architectural elements of the past with the living requirements of the present."
The Vermont company points to an additional interesting connection between itself and Winterthur: Electra Havemeyer Webb, founder of Vermont's own Shelburne Museum and friend to H. F. du Pont, was among the first to interest him in American art and antiques. On a visit to the Webbs' home in 1923, du Pont was taken with the color combination of a pine cupboard holding pink Staffordshire dishes. That inspirational cupboard-a gift of the Webb family-with the original ceramics, is now prominently displayed at Winterthur.
"All of us at Winterthur are truly excited about this agreement-it's a perfect partnership," says Kristin L. DeMesse, director of Winterthur Licensed Products. "Connor Homes' dedication to early American architecture and attention to detail is unsurpassed, and we know their Winterthur designs will be exceptional."
Work on the design venture will begin this spring when a team of designers from Connor Homes will begin researching the many historic house plans and photos in the museum's extensive archives. First plans and home offerings are expected in the summer and fall of this year.
For more information on Winterthur, including their extensive collection, programs, events, and exhibitions, please visit them online at http://www.winterthur.org/ or call 800-448-3883.